Manchester Harriers & A.C: out in force to Support and Volunteer
~ by Debbie Beresford
What a weekend, starting with Saturday 25th May with the City Games taking part in Manchester City Centre, with the Sprints down Deansgate and the Field Events at Albert Square. We were asked to come along by Nova to represent a local club, so 50 Athletes, Volunteers, Parents came along to support the events and show what a great event it is. We all got red wristbands to give us access to the trackside and were next to the athletes and their warm ups. All our members has a great time, especially Caitlin Carroll who was a wished Happy 12th Birthday, along with Molly, Caitlin and Alice who won signed t-shirts signed by the Athletes competing at the Games. The highlight of the day was watching the Long Jump and Pole Vaults, with Greg Rutherford, Chris Tomlinson, Stef Reid to name but a few, all performing outside the Town Hall in Manchester. Next was a Group photo with Brendan Foster with a few of our members and this was the highlight of the Seniors day, especially when he stated to Jane Skertchley – MANCHESTER HARRIERS is a Proper Running Club!!!, we certainly all agree on that one!
Once this area had finished it events we all moved over to Deansgate for the last few Track events with the climax of the 150m, with Christopher Lemaitre winning the final event. All the club has really enjoyed the day and the lovely warm, sunny Manchester weather was ideal. To complete the day the Girls caught up with Dwan Chambers and Greg Rutherford for a quick photo call to end the day.
Some of the athletes competing were: Jonnie Peacock, Stef Reid, Alan Oliveira, Felix Santchez, Allyson Felix, Jodie Williams, Andy Turner, Perri Shakes-Drayton, Greg Rutherford, Chris Tomlinson, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Chris Lamaitre, Dwan Chambers and Mark Lewis Francis, to name only a few.
Next day Sunday 26th May, saw the Manchester Bupa 10K, with 10 volunteers from the Club offering their time to come along and volunteer to marshal for the club. We were positioned on the junction of Portland and Princess Street at the area where the Waves meet. We were up early and at Manchester Central for 8am to collect out Jackets, lunch, ID and very flattering Yellow plastic marshal’s bib, on we went to our marshalling position and deployed to various points nearby with a group of us working the roped area between the waves. Our volunteers were great and especially with such an early start, I want to thank, Lorraine, her sister, Richard, Jeanette, George, Lydia, Caroline, Kes, Jason for their support. We had a number of Athletes running on the day, so hopefully they all had a great race and some good finishing times!!
Again we were very lucky to have such a lovely sunny day and it got very warm as the morning progressed so not ideal for the athletes but a welcome change for the volunteers. Once we had taken care of all five waves and helped clear away, some went off to see the finish, meet friends or in my case pop back home and start stripping wallpaper and dismantling a wardrobe!!
Finally Monday 27th May, this was the Youngsters Mini & Junior Run at Sportcity/MCFC stadium. We had a little lye in as we were not needed until about 9.30am, so the volunteers could get there a little later. We were on the Junior extension route round the outdoor track and approaches so a great viewing section and some competitive runners at this point. Again we got our kit on arrival and those lovely Yellow plastic bibs, as today was a little cooler and windy we welcomed the jackets, but luckily no rain to be seen until after the event. Again a massive thank you to all our volunteers, with 10 in attendance today, so thanks to – Shaz, Kes, Bev, Joan, Stan, George, Dave, Jo and Clare.
It was great to see the youngsters having such a great time, with a lot of them way ahead of their adult runner with them in the younger races. Saw a number of youngsters from the Club with Louise Stiles winning the Younger Junior race and her sister Alice coming 3rd in the older age group.
Again very lucky with the weather a little windy but stayed dry and bright.
All in all a great weekend for the club, enjoy the photos as some great ones.